A Career Guide to Becoming a Computer Hardware Engineer

Those passionate about the mechanics of technology should consider a career as a computer hardware engineer. It is their role to oversee the manufacture, installation and testing of various hardware, such as computer systems, circuit boards, servers, chips and more. If you think it could be a viable career for you, here is everything you need to know about becoming a computer hardware engineer.

The Role of a Computer Hardware Engineer

You will need to make an informed decision when embarking on an exciting career in a flourishing industry. If you dream of becoming a computer hardware engineer, it is important to learn more about the typical duties you will face each day.

For instance, it will be your job to modify hardware for forensic analysis of media, or to alter the hardware’s functionality. You may also need to participate in both the design and development or electronic circuits, as well as conducting technical examinations of digital media.

Testing is also a major part of the role, as you will need to test hardware for accuracy, standards and compliance, which are integral to consumer safety, onsite health and safety, and company profitability.

How to Become a Computer Hardware Engineer

The rapid developments in computer technology would not have been possible without computer hardware engineers. Your knowledge and skills could, therefore, help create and power the technologies of the future.

If you believe you have the technical know-how to make it as a computer engineer, you will need to obtain a degree in computer science or engineering. Engineering online courses will educate students on both hardware and software, so you will have comprehensive knowledge of computer systems. For example, you will learn about computer architecture, which is the relationship between the hardware and software, as well as parallel systems, computer networks and operating systems, plus more.

If you want to gain a computer science degree, but are unsure if a computer hardware engineer is the right role for you, you can, of course, consider different career avenues. Completing a computer science program will allow you to enter multiple occupations, such as web development, software developer, computer systems analyst, information security analyst, plus more. So, you will have plenty of career options after you have gained a diploma.

The Soft Skills You Will Need

In addition to the technical skills you will need to gain during a computer science course, you will also need a variety of soft skills to enjoy a rewarding career. For example, critical thinking is integral, as you will need to compare and identify the best solutions to a problem. You will also need excellent communication skills to convey messages to teams and listen to problems.

Creativity is also a must-have soft skill, as every successful computer hardware engineer will need to produce new ideas for designing computers, peripherals and devices. You also must be able to stay up-to-date with the latest industry news and publications to keep up with evolving technologies.

The Average Salary

Computer hardware engineering is not only personally rewarding, but it can be financially rewarding, too. The average salary for the role in the United States is estimated at $111,730, with the highest 10% earning $167,100 or more annually. The role is also expected to grow by 5% until 2026, which means there will be many employment opportunities once you have gained a computer science degree.

Employer Expectations for Computer Hardware Engineers

You will need much more than knowledge and skills to become a viable candidate for a computer hardware engineer role. Employers are not only looking for talent, but they are looking for candidates who possess the right attitude and personality for their business.

You only need to look on job boards for roles to realize businesses are looking for employees with a customer-focused attitude, and who offer exceptional attention to detail. You will also need to be flexible when it comes to new development techniques, and you must strive to meet set deadlines. You should, therefore, bear all these qualities in mind when applying for a role.

The Working Environment

Unsure where you will work if successfully secure a role as a computer hardware engineer? You might be happy to discover that most computer engineers will work in a research library, so you will have the space and freedom to both build and test various computer models. Many computer hardware engineers commonly enter manufacturing or computer system design services.


Becoming a computer hardware engineer can take time and hard work, but it can ensure you enjoy both a financially and professionally rewarding career within flourishing companies. Of course, becoming a computer hardware engineer isn’t your only career option when embarking on a computer science course, so think carefully about your passion and skillset to pursue the right position for you.

Have you made a successful career as a computer hardware engineer? Do you have any helpful tips to share? Please write a comment below.